February 29, 2012

TOP TEN CAUSE: Be The Change 4 Animals

Thank you so very much to Kim Clune for writing a wonderful article about me and Amazon CARES on the Be the Change 4 Animals website.  Please take time to learn more about Amazon CARES and what we do by reading her well written and researched article here.

In the meantime, I want to introduce our readers to a community of activists that are indeed making a significant change for causes, activists and animals around the world.

We are resurrecting our Top 10 Awards because of the incredible and indelible mark btc4animals has made in the world.  Thus, we present the community of Be The Change 4 Animals our first Top Ten Cause 2012 award!

 About BtC4animals

"Our Mission is to Help You"

With many worthwhile animal causes to support, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless. By banding together like-minded folks with a strong, collective voice, the goal of BtC4Animals is to ignite and accelerate the change we can make as individuals at a pace that doesn’t overwhelm.


February 24, 2012

Girl Scouts Discover Link Between Cookies and Deforestation

This time of year, as spring nears, I always look forward to two things:  the first robin, and Girl Scout Cookies.  Since I was a girl selling the cookies door to door (hard to believe parents used to let their kids do this!), the Thin Mints and Trefoils and Samoas were an integral part of a celebration of spring.  Seeing the little girls in their sashes of green and brown cheerfully selling boxes at tables set up outside grocery stores brings a smile to the face of even the most winter-hardened grouch.  As an adult I always looked forward to GS Cookie time, for if the goodies purchased benefit such a worthy charity, they are a guilt-free, once-a-year indulgence.  Well, scratch the guilt-free part. . .

It turns out Girl Scout Cookies are made using palm oil, obtained from companies which deforest giant swaths of Indonesian and Malaysian rain forest in order to produce the vast amounts utilized.  These palm rain forests are home to a dwindling number of orangutaun, and the deforestation caused by the palm oil producers is rapidly destroying what habitat remains.

Photo: An orangutan is seen with an tranquilizer dart in his side - to make him sleep before rangers relocate him , away from this palm oil plantation.

February 22, 2012

Remodeling a House: Wordless Wednesday

 Does anything appear odd in this photo of a man working to improve his home?  If you think so, please comment below!

February 20, 2012

Reality Check: Not All Rescues Are Precious Pups

A sad, yet still common site on the streets of Iquitos

Recently we have posted many photos of abandoned puppies and kittens.  These cute and helpless creatures tug at our heart strings.  Today I write to remind our supporters that Amazon CARES is SO MUCH MORE than a rescue center, no-kill shelter, and adoption center.  If our sole focus was to rescue street dogs and cats in need, we would barely be making a dent in the actual problem facing Iquitos.  That is the issue of overpopulation, ill animals roaming the streets, and a lack of positive action on the part of the government to remedy the situation.

February 17, 2012

Manuela: CARES´ Social Media Maven

Manuela in 2009
I write this blog with much pride, as it is in honor of a longtime volunteer, friend and colleague, Manuela.  The two of us first met via computer, as so many activists do.  We shared a passion for helping animals.   

When Manuela wanted to memorialize the loss of a puppy, she asked Heather Mansfield, then, the Nonprofit Community Manager of change.org, for advice.  I owe a debt of gratitude to Heather for suggesting that Manuela raise funds in memory of Lua the puppy for Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety, better known as Amazon CARES.

I wrote about Manuela previously, and you can read the blog here.  Manuela started her personal fundraising page for Amazon CARES on May 13th, 2009.  It happened to be my Birthday, and I am grateful every day that I learned of this extraordinary woman and thus received the greatest Birthday present a person could ever wish to receive....Her wonderful friendship.

February 12, 2012

Reflections of a Shelter Volunteer

Written by Justin Martin

Anyone who spends a little bit of time here in Iquitos can’t help but notice the amount of street dogs that wander around this city. As the owner of wonderful dog myself, it’s hard not to feel sad seeing them wander around dirty and mangy, eating out of the trash on the streets. They are nuisance and certainly even a health risk but they are also suffering and unloved. I have heard that in the past when the population was really getting to be a problem the only solution anyone could come up with was putting poison out on the streets. Not only is this a little heart-breaking it’s also never going to solve the problem